STAY RIGHT HERE PEOPLE! XANGA IS LESS THAN 2K AWAY FROM REACHING THE $50K MARK. THEY ARE NOT SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE THEY EXTENDED THE DEADLINE.
I’m staying here with Xanga. Forget WordPress!
Good day. Check HERE to read the Xangateam’s post.
I haven’t updated since late May. It is now late July and I’ll never understand why summer always has to fly by. To the point, I left for JMU early June to work as an OPA for freshman orientation. For four weeks, a typical day started at 5:15 AM and ended at 7:00 PM. These days flew because being an OPA involved a lot of details. I am so thankful to have had this experience. I journaled during this experience so I wouldn’t forget the little things that happened.
My orientation (springboard) moment – July 8, 2013. I was done my last placement in Wilson. I was walking across the commons when I noticed Matt (another OPA) waving me over. Approaching him, I noticed a daughter and her parents. The father remembered me during Introductions in the morning and said, “So your from XXX, Pennsylvania?” Long story short, this family lived 3 minutes away from me off of the same main road. It also turned out that THAT FATHER is the guy who called the cops 8 years ago during a robbery that happened at my house! He was driving down the main road when the intruders sped off from my house and cut him off. ALL BECAUSE HE WAS SUSPICIOUS he called the police and did the right thing.
How in the world do I run into the hero 8 years later at JMU? Mind blown.
On another note, I am officially the TA (teaching assistant) for CSD 300 this fall. Yep, that difficult class I took last fall. I’m getting credit for it and I get to work with the juniors. I’m genuinely excited about this. Dr. R was all about it, too.
I go back to JMU in two weeks to begin Orientation week for the first years. My job as an OPA is not over, and I am so thankful for that. I love this job more than anything.
To be continued. Also, I really hope Xanga does not shut down.
(Image – My design!)
I met with an old friend, Leanne, yesterday morning to catch up on each other’s lives. She had an awesome idea of creating a t-shirt in support of those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. I designed the t-shirt and she took care of business!
All purchases will go directly to the One Fund (https://secure.onefundboston.org/) which is organized by the Boston Mayor, Thomas Menino and the Governor, Deval Patrick.
The t-shirt is $22 but there is also a small shipping fee. All of it goes to the One Fund!!!
Please rec this post so it can spread throughout the Xanga community. Our goal is 500 t-shirts.
Song – Dare You To Move by Switchfoot
Want to know what is so great about life? There is always something to discover. In the beginning of my freshman year of college, I went to a club triathlon interest meeting. Looking for something new, I thought this would be my thing. After going to several meetings, I just did not connect with anyone on the team. I was that shy freshman just trying to find my place somewhere on campus. I went ahead and bought a uniform. But that was all I did. Other things such as classes and friends distracted me and the triathlon club was history.
Here I am three years later with a useless uniform and road bike. I had one of those moments today where I was wondering what will be discovered next. I have come so far with running in the past few years. It all began with a 5k during the 2010 homecoming weekend at JMU. My interest in running maxed out to the Philadelphia Marathon this past November. What I gained from this running experience was commitment and passion.
In order to do something you love, you must have commitment and passion. Without passion, there is no commitment and without commitment, there is no passion.
I want something more. I realized that timing was not right when I discovered triathlon my freshman year. Being new to college means there is so much to take in at once. It was hard to create a new lifestyle. But with time, I found my place. Now that I have one year left, I am by far more capable to try again. I love my life here because my friends, classes, and social life make me happy. It is time to take my running ability to another level. Biking and swimming are now going to be a part of me. I am ready.
It is never too late.
Song – I Don’t Want To Be by Gavin DeGraw
It is hard to believe that I am starting senior year at JMU in August. The past three years involved growing up, failures, accomplishments, and friendships that blossomed and faded. I can only imagine what senior year will bring, but I want it to be the most memorable because it is the last. To start, I will embark on this Orientation experience that begins in just a few weeks. For all that I know, thirty OPAs (Orientation Peer Advisers) will come together to welcome 4,300+ incoming freshmen to the Madison experience. In my first few weeks as a freshman, I wanted to pack my bags and go home. Here I am three years later passionately in love with the university that molded me into better person all around. I am proud of myself and what I have accomplished at JMU thus far.
I don’t mean to look at this way, but my freshman year was the weakest. I had a rough transition from home to college. I missed home more than ever, and didn’t appreciate what I had until it was gone. I wasn’t confident in Kinesiology, the major I declared. I finished my first semester with a 3.48, missing the Dean’s List by .02. I was always studious growing up, and not making the list was frustrating. Going into second semester, I had a terrible professor for a math course. I couldn’t believe I got a C, and I ended with a 3.2 for the semester. This class was so difficult that my roommate and I formed a study group with more than half of the class. It amazed me to see that we all came together to try and succeed in this class. I will never forget these people because they made this class bearable.
Kinesiology was out of my life, and Communication Sciences and Disorders was my new major. I took CSD 200 in the spring and fell in love with the field. Ever since this semester, I have decided I want to become an Audiologist.
My first failure at JMU was not being selected to be a 2011 FrOG (First yeaR Orientation Guide) for the incoming 2011 class. My second failure was not being selected to be a Peer Adviser for the Office of Disability Services. I wanted this job that would have started my sophomore year, but it was not meant to be. I left for the summer and this was my first time having a 4-month summer break. WOW, I never missed JMU so much. I missed my friends and the busy schedule. But soon enough, August rolled around and it was time to go back.
I moved into Logan Hall with one of my friends from freshman year. This dorm should be the Honors dorm considering the size of the rooms. I met a lot of great people this year that I still talk to now. Now that I was a CSD major, I knew I had to do better academically due to the competitiveness of graduate school. I got a 3.82 in the fall semester and I was thrilled. Socially, I applied for my first organization, Student Ambassadors. It was a long application process that started in September, and ended in January. During this time, the Office of Disability Services called me asking if I wanted that Peer Adviser position starting in January. One of my first failures turned into a success. However, I only wanted to do one thing because academics was my #1 priority. My heart was on Student Ambassadors (even though I hadn’t known if I got it yet) because that is what I wanted at the time. I had to reject the Office of Disability Services’ request because I wanted something else. They turned me down initially, and I felt it was fair for me to say no.
Second semester of sophomore year rolled around and I was petrified of the CSD classes required at the time. On the other hand, I was admitted to Student Ambassadors. My college life changed. I made so many friends and had to challenge myself socially and academically. Having fun in college is necessary. I grew up a lot this semester in regards to trusting myself with decisions. There were times when I chose SA events over studying, but it was worth it. I ended the semester with a 3.86 and I was ecstatic. I knew I could be involved and still do well in classes.
Sophomore year topped freshman year by far. I became a tour guide who advocated the university to prospective students and their families. I gained self-trust and became more socially confident. Having to sell your university to a group of strangers for over an hour around campus isn’t as terrifying at it seems. This is actually a good skill to acquire for the real world.
What I also learned my sophomore year in CSD was the competitiveness of getting into graduate programs. In this major, you can become a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or an Audiologist (Au.D.). However, both jobs require graduate school. I knew this when I declared the major, but I didn’t realize how extreme the competitiveness was until I got further into it. This is exactly why I am so hard on myself when it comes to doing well in classes. But overall, I definitely found my balance of classes and the social life.
Junior year began, and I now had a townhouse off campus. I absolutely love it, and will be living in the same place senior year. It was mildly difficult adjusting from living in a dorm to being way more independent off campus. However, it is so nice not having an RA. My roommates are great, and our place is clean. You can’t go wrong with that.
Student Ambassadors changed for me personally in the fall of junior year. The seniors were gone from the past semester, and the magic felt missing. I had the time of my life in this organization before, and now it just seemed different. I felt disconnected and this lead me to distancing myself from it. I was told before that this happens to a lot of people, but I was literally on cloud 9 my first semester in it.
Classes were good, and I was taking an Intro to Audiology course. I loved it, and this was one more piece of evidence that I knew I was in the right major. I was also taking the hardest course in the major. CSD 300. It is hilarious looking back now seeing how stressed out my friends and I were. I ended up doing well, and finished the fall semester with a 3.86.
Not many people know this, but I also applied to the Doctor of Audiology graduate program at JMU. This program admits roughly 6 students per year. NOT A LOT. I had an opportunity to apply as an early admit which is for juniors only. After speaking with the director of the program, it was obvious that my chances were slim. Although it sounds honorable for a junior to apply early, there are higher standards for an applicant that is a junior than a senior. My GPA, extracurriculars, relationship with CSD faculty, personal story with hearing loss, and overall resume was solid. Unfortunately, my GRE scores weren’t good. In the end, I wasn’t accepted because of the scores alone. What I took from this experience was timing. I wasn’t ready to start grad school a year early. I scrambled to prepare for the GREs over winter break and it didn’t work out. This summer I will spend more time studying so that I can perform efficiently and receive a better score. I’ll never forget the director of the program telling me, “Raise your GRE score and you’re fine. Everything else is good.” My application is held on file for next year, and I will keep working hard to hopefully gain acceptance for 2014.
Second semester of junior year rolled around, and I found out I was accepted into The Madison Society. This lifted my spirits because it is a relatively small organization. Due to the overload of commitments this semester, I couldn’t devote a lot of time to TMS. I plan to dive into the group this fall.
I applied to be an OPA for the 2013 term. It was sort of a last minute decision. There is handful of Student Ambassadors who have done this in prior years, and that is part of the reason I became interested. The group interview was so intimidating that I thought I was the worst applicant in the room. Luckily, I pulled through and landed an individual interview. In a Student Ambassador meeting, I got a phone call from the office notifying my acceptance. I was shocked. I am giving back to the university that has changed my life.
OPA had several commitments throughout the semester. A lot of interviews to select 300 FrOGS. We had to take a Friday class that went from 2:30-5pm. This pushed my limits on balance. I raked in 62 hours of community service successfully passing my goal of 60. I was a teaching assistant for one of my CSD professors. And on top of that, I had to make points for Student Ambassadors.
But somehow, I managed to earn another 3.86 for the semester. It is funny though. Four semesters in a row, I missed making the President’s List by .04. But again, I am beyond grateful. All of the hard work has paid off. Within these four semesters, I got busier and busier with involvements and still did well academically. I have one more semester to go until I officially apply to graduate programs for audiology. Time sure as hell flies.
This entire reflection doesn’t even sum it all up. But here I am, amazed by the pace of time. Why does college have to go so fast? I love everything about it. It makes you gain independence, self-trust, and better yourself as a person. I don’t want it to end.
In just a few weeks, I will be heading back to JMU to embark on this OPA experience. I want to change lives. I want to inspire the incoming class. They have to see JMU the way we do. There’s many reasons why JMU is so loved. 97% say they loved their JMU experience. I am going into this OPA experience with no expectations. I am going to just let it happen and see what comes out of it.
My senior year is about to begin and I have a whole new list of goals. Academically, I want to make the President’s List, and I want to graduate Magna Cum Laude. I am currently holding the honor, but I must maintain it. I am hopeful of gaining acceptance into the audiology program so I can further my education at JMU. Socially, I want to make myself a better member of Student Ambassadors and The Madison Society.
I am going to make a bucket list at some point with some friends. I want more spontaneity this year. I want to go downtown more often and enjoy my time with friends. I’ve gained and lost some friendships, but I know who’s real and who I want to be around.
Senior year is going to be one hell of a year and one that I will never forget.
If someone asked you, “Who are you?” then it would be easy to say the basics. But what if someone wanted details and asked you to describe yourself – characteristics, positive qualities, flaws, and so on. You might find yourself fumbling for answers because verbalizing your identity isn’t necessarily comfortable. I have been put in a situation where someone wanted to know the good qualities about me, but I held back. It seems like self-bragging, but it shouldn’t be. In all, everyone builds themselves up to portray values they desire. You are who you are, so let the world acknowledge it.
To someone else you are – loved, admired, motivational, inspirational, disliked, envied, competitive, dedicated, perfect, clueless, scatterbrained, absent-minded, appreciated, sympathetic, caring, etc.
But above all, what are you to yourself? This is what matters the most.
I am always fantasizing about where my new place will be. I want to embrace a different culture and lifestyle. I want to live in a world that is fast-paced, yet laid-back. I am envisioning a small, seaside town along the coast. One day, I will move away to a place like this and mark my new boundaries. The past 21 years in this town has been great, but my future is to be continued somewhere else that will offer more of life’s gifts. This small, Pennsylvania town has delivered greatness and many experiences, but it has reached its maximum potential. There are only so many pages left of this chapter in my life. The last few pages of Pennsylvania are to be embraced with much appreciation, but the next chapter is ready to be seen.
I had to make one for class. I’m really glad to have this assignment. I printed it out and I will hang it in my room. I live by four statements.
DARE TO DREAM
GO FOR THINGS OUT OF REACH
VISIT NEW PLACES
ONE DAY IT WILL HAPPEN
BE AN OPENER OF DOORS
RUN WITH CHANGES
ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD
SMALL GOALS LEAD TO BIG GOALS
MEET NEW PEOPLE
LIFE DOES NOT PAUSE
REMEMBER THE MOMENTS
LET IT BE
ALWAYS REFLECT ON OCCURRANCES
NOT ALL IS WORTHY
LET EXPERIENCES HAPPEN
DON’T WORRY ABOUT YESTERDAY
DON’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW
BE YOURSELF, EVERYONE ELSE IS TAKEN
OPTIMISM IS KEY TO HAPPINESS
REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS
DON’T LOSE FOCUS
PROVE ALL DOUBTERS WRONG
Competition is high in every part of the world. There exists numerous kinds of competitors. Good and evil. There is nothing that will change this atmosphere. To achieve and be what you dream of being involves passion and dedication. You are full of life when you wake up and go to bed with a smile on your face. People who ignore the critics are simply inspiring. To avoid hateful words and let them dissolve shows strength of optimism. Nothing shall get in the way of your dreams. Do not be fooled by your competitors. Underdogs are rising to the top every day. The best of the best is not a secured placement. The world has changed rankings today, and they will certainly change again tomorrow. Never lose hope in what you are working for because things are always changing for the better or for the worse. And sometimes, the worse happens before the better.
Don’t lose focus.